Cleanflight is dead…

Only 5 weeks ago I’ve written that Cleanflight has a problem. Looks like, the problem was much bigger than I expected. Today in the morning, Dominic Clifton aka. Hydra essentially killed the project by resetting GitHub repository to Betaflight 3.1.

It was announced on Facebook:

Cleanflight v2.0.0-RC1 is out now, with all the new features from Betaflight v3.1 – please share this post!

Thanks to the hard-working betaflight developers especially Boris B, Jason Blackman and Martin Budden who have been doing fantastic work for us all!

Also, all GitHub Issues and Pull Requests were deleted.

What does that means? More less the following:

  1. Cleanflight lost all it’s uniqueness and is Betaflight under different name
  2. Pilots that were using Cleanflight on airplanes or big multirotors are left alone. Betaflight aims on mini-quads, not airplanes!
  3. Why anyone would want to use CF when BF is there and this moment it offers better community support?

The way I see it, it was a nice ride, but now it is over and Cleanflight is dead. Too bad, since it had a huge impact on multirotor community over last few year…

7 thoughts to “Cleanflight is dead…”

  1. I think it is a smart move, actually. A number of developers are holding back code because they don’t want it to be open. In a scenario where more and more parts of betaflight might be substituted by proprietary code, cleanflight might become a “better betaflight” in the future. At least ideologically.

  2. I guess Cleanflight was too far behind Betaflight/INAV and Dominic decided to cover the gap by jumping to Betaflight as a base. So not unique any more and with much less activity in the community.

  3. lol! dead! hahah. It’s not dead, i’m coding on it again now.

    No the reasoning is as follows, here’s what CF needed:
    * f4/f7 support.
    * the results of lots of testing by great pilots on boris’s new pid work which was *very* unstable – things being added and deleted between releases, CF users did not want that.
    * dshot support. it’s the best thing to happen to ESCs for a LONG time. in fact I remember using PWM systems on RC cars let’s see, ooh back in the late 1980’s. digital ESC protocols are the future.
    * all the recent great cleanups and hardware abstraction that was started by the cleanflight project – the new ‘resource’ command has enabled us to delete loads of horrible code (pwm_mapping.c)
    * a menu system which can be used by OSD *and* telemetry systems – this was started in cleanflight years ago but kept stalling. finally now people see the benefits we were talking about – it’s partly why FrSky have released their own flight controllers!

    What BF needed:
    * Cleanflight’s new configuration system (parameter groups) – it enables complete decoupling of many subsystems – this was a long time coming.
    * Lots of cleanup – it happened.

    What’s next:
    * More cleanup, better integration, better collaboration, single community. The future looks better today than it has for year.

  4. Always liked the idea of clean coding with some structure and planning of, but I have to agree with Dziku.

    Although Cleanflight 2.0 is now basically betaflight (atleast for the moment), my feeling is, the racers will stay with betaflight, simply because it’s flight performance is being improved quicker and more tailored to racing. The typical quad racer probably doesn’t care for clean code, he wants to be the fastest to win races.

    And for people like me who fly non-race quads and fixed wings, Inav makes more sense, FCs with Baros and GPS modules are cheap, even though I don’t really need all that fancy waypoint and advanced navigation features, I still like to have the piece-of-mind with a RTH function and I like to use althold sometimes, be it just to scratch my b*tt 😉 But even simple althold still didn’t work properly with cleanflight 1.14. And I’m not going to wait until it works properly in Cleanflight 2.xx, it already works in Inav.

    From what I can tell (might be subjective ofcourse) most other people think the same, making Cleanflight somewhat superflous.

    1. I agree that the typical miniquad racer pilot doesn’t give a … about how software is developed, who is developing it and whether it is open or proprietary. However, it is questionable if projects like betaflight are suited for the typical miniquad racer pilot in the long term. Compared to let’s say two years ago, the typical miniquad racer pilot nowadays doesn’t necessarily need technical understanding in order to put together a well flying system. Especially with KISS and Raceflight providing more or less careless solutions the FPV racer comunity instead focuses more and more on painting transmitters, collecting stickers, vlogging and other “fun”. In my opinion there are clear, however completely different paths that betaflight can go from now on. One of which would certainly lose attractivity for people who like to understand things and to collaborate. Cleanflight might pick those people up then.

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